Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Sunday, May 09, 2010

NEIL ARNOLD: Beasts From Within! Part One

A ghastly tale from The Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Vol 2, by Charles Hutton. ‘An account of a very strange and rare case in Physic, with the description of a monstrous animal cast out of the stomach by vomit – By Dr. Lister, of York, F.R.S. Philos. Collect. N’6 P164 – I send you the true and exact shape of a worm which a man vomited up here the last week. I found it myself in the blood which came up with it, having caused it to be washed for the more careful examination of it, much of the blood being clods of a kind of skinny and fleshy substance haud liter, quarm in mulierum molis excernedis accidere solet, of this kind of blood there was about 2lb weight saved in the washing and this strange animal among it; which was easily discovered being of a dark green colour like a horse-leech, and spotted. I could not perceive in it any life or motion, the girl that washed the blood having almost beaten off a fin, and part of one of the forks of the tail, and burst the belly of it, yet it was curiously and regularly shaped in all its members. The spirit of wine in which I put it has changed its colour, but yet it still remains perfect enough to satisfy any curious person.

The patient imagined he drank it the last summer in pond water. This is certain, he had about his stomach and right side a most exquisite and tormenting pain, for at least 4 months last past, which many times threw him into horrors and chillness, ague-like; and indeed when he vomited this up, he was the sickest man I ever saw not to die, he also voided blood by stool several days, and now I believe he will recover, though his pains are not wholly ceased.

The animal was about 4 inches long, and in the thickest place 3 inches about; it had 3 fins of a side, all near the head, and the upper pair most exactly and elegantly figured, as is described, all these fins were thick and fleshy but the forked tail was finny and transparent, and to be extended, it was placed horizontally, not as that of most, if not all, small fish, and even newts and tadpoles, in which particular it differs from them all, as well as in the fleshiness of the fins.

Besides this odd animal, I found the head of another of a different shape, but of a dark green colour also, as the other, the body of it had not been lost, or this other so ill-treated, if I had expected to have found, what we never looked for. But what shall we say this monster was ? I am apt to think that we often drink and eat what is alive, and it is certain some things will live in our stomachs despite concoction; not to instance in the many sorts of gut-worms natural to us, and which are bred with us, perhaps in some children even before they are born, these worms, I say, do freely wander up and down the guts and stomach at their pleasure…

I am of the opinion that what has been accidentally swallowed by us alive, and that shall have the power to live on within us may have its designed form and shape monstrously perverted, so as to appear to us quite another thing than naturally and really it is, and this I take to be the case of this odd creature, the present subject of discourse; so that it might have been the spawn or embryo of a toad or newt.’

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